Why do families overeat?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
For most of us, overeating (and making our children eat too much) results from complex emotions and disrupted biochemistry. Research reveals that moms who are anxious about their economic situation (these days, who isn't?) tend to overfeed their children. When parents do this, it disrupts healthy eating impulses and children never know whether they are hungry. This leads to chronic overeating.

You know what the children—and you—should eat to be healthy: real, home-cooked food that's lean, tasty and green, without saturated fats, trans fats, simple sugars, added syrups, or grains (except 100% whole grains). Anxiety makes it hard to keep up good eating habits. Persistent stress stimulates release of the hormone cortisol and that activates cravings for sugary, fatty foods. It also fuels depression. You overeat, and you feed your kids the same unhealthy foods you crave.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.